Please make yourself at home! Check some tags, do some reading, leave a comment.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Second Guitarist, No Martin: JGMS, Keystone Berkeley, July 12, 1974

19740712: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders: Friday, July 12, 1974, Keystone, Berkeley, CA.

There is a second guitarist on this show. I am concluding it's David Nelson, but I am really uncertain. Can anyone else with this recording take a listen? Can anyone shed any more light?

Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
Berkeley, CA
July 12, 1974 (Friday)

Disc One (6 tracks, 73:35)
--Set I--
1. //Hi-Heel Sneakers [#8:52] [0:49]
2. //Expressway [16:09#] [1:30]
3. He Ain't Give You None [12:08] [0:25]
4. Wondering Why [11:14] [0:16]
5. I Second That// Emotion [12:04#] [1:08]
--Set II--
6. It Ain't No Use [8:37] [0:19]

Disc Two (5 tracks, 46:09)
--Set II (con't)--
1. tuning [0:59]
2. (I'm A) Road Runner [9:19] [0:19]
3. [0:14] That's Alright, Mama [9:54] [0:13]
4. [0:12] It's Too Late [9:4x] [0:10]
5. [0:15] Harder They Come [14:26] [0:20]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals;
! lineup: Merl Saunders - keyboards;
! lineup: ?Bill Kreutzmann? - drums;
! lineup: John Kahn - bass;
! guest: ?? - guitar.

JGMF Notes:

! Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = recorded event time. The recorded event time immediately after the song or item name is an attempt at getting the "real" time of the event. So, a timing of [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! TJS: They mention a 90-minute sbd tape ("complete except missing the last two songs of Set 2") about which I am very skeptical. I got a copy of this from what I think is related to the copy TJS is noting, and I determined it to be a mislabel/hodgepodge of stuff. I am prepared to be disproven on this, and hope indeed that there is a legit alternative recording of this!

! db: (this recording). "MAC (Louis Falanga's onstage Sony ECM-250 > Sony TC-110) > DATx1 > CD > EAC > CD > EAC > SHN. Extraction, re-tracking, and compression using EAC, CD Wave & WavMerge, and mkwACT by" These are non-seekable shns, and the fileset in this format should be retired. shnid 8072.

! Recording: Unbelievable what Louis Falanga was able to do with these onstage recordings. Kudos and thank you, sir. I am not sure about the gear (didn't a TC-110 have a built in mic, for example)? I believe that Bob Menke did these transfers in the early 2000s. He made CD copies for Jim Powell, who made them for Jack Warner, who made them for Joe Jupille, who created shnid 8027 out of them. There are a few blemishes here and there but overall this is just great to listen to. Special thanks to Mr. Menke for all he has done over the years.

! Personnel: Martin Fierro is not present on this recording. All we really know is Garcia & Saunders. Kahn is a pretty safe assumption. Kreutzmann on drums is nothing more than a conventional understanding, as far as I know. Do we really have any idea who was drumming this night? I don't doubt it's him, but just not sure how we "know" it is.

! Personnel: There is a second guitar player throughout the show. This is an electric player, a little country, who likes to play high up the neck. I have horrible ears for this stuff, but if forced to guess I'd say it's David Nelson.

! Personnel: The guest performer on It's Too Late is playing mandolin for awhile, I think. This has previously been noted as David Grisman, but I wonder if it isn't David Nelson? To check out this person's soloing, check the following spots: d1t03 HAGYN @ 4:50; d1t05 ISTE @ 6:58; d2t05 HTC @ 5:30.

! R: d1t01 Hi-Heel Sneakers cuts in

! R: d1t02 Expressway cuts in; pop/click @ 0:49

! R: d1t05 Second That Emotion cut/splice @ 10:35

! R: there are small pops at several of the track markers.


  1. Let me make another proposition for the second guitarist: David Nichtern. If there's an electric (or amplified) mandolin, the likely culprit is Grisman, particularly since we know he recorded with Garcia-Saunders around this time (possibly overdubbing in the studio). The next question that follows would be "which friend of Grisman's might be sitting in on electric guitar?"

    David Nichtern was in the Great American String Band, and spent a lot of time in the Bay Area (I think he lived in LA, not sure). If Grisman was there, I think Nichtern is a more likely guest than Nelson.

    During 1974, David Nichtern and John Kahn were both in Maria Muldaur's road band (there is a Denver tape from Jan 30 '74 on sugarmegs). The Muldaur/Kahn road band is another subject I haven't gotten to, but it's yet another connection between Nichtern, Kahn and Garcia.

  2. I highly doubt it's Nichtern, but of course I am prepared to be demonstrated to be wrong. I have Nichtern materials to consult, but I don't think he was ever really the hang-around-and-jam kind of guy. He wasn't around the Bay Area long/much.

    Nelson, on the other hand, was definitely around. There are albums being worked up all together (Garcia's Compliments is just out, The Good Old Boys is upcoming with Jerry as producer, I am sure the NRPS are kicking around, etc. etc.).

    My judgment is almost certainly influenced by the fact that there are about to be some Good Old Boys sets from the June '74 Keystone shows hitting the bitstreams.

    The other possibility to investigate is the opening act, Locomotive G.T.? I wonder who their guitar player was. But whoever it is, this guy is good. In the post I note some good places to listen for him (presumably, a him; would be neat to be wrong about that). This guy sounds comfortable around this repertoire and brings some nice Bakersfield to the proceedings.

    Of course, it could just be completely random.

    Last thing: I have materials on the Muldaur Band that I'd happily pass along if you'd like. Just really have a scratch of that vast surface ... that was a touring band for a few years and I'd bet John Kahn is out a ton.

  3. Locomotiv GT were from the Soviet Bloc, Hungary I think, and played sort of Heavy Prog/Zappa type stuff. Not much Buck Owens there.

    The July 5 Hayward Daily Review lists Garcia/Saunders and Locomotiv GT for the weekend of July 12, but the July 12 HDR only lists Garcia/Saunders.

    I will take you up on your Muldaur material, but I have to get to at least 1972 in my John Kahn chronicle, and I'm not there yet.


!Thank you for joining the conversation!